I always tell the students that my first job is to ensure that everyone is safe. At the heart of that are effective safeguarding practices and a culture of care that aims to secure the best outcomes for all.
Across the Federation we have five members of staff who are trained Designated Safeguarding Leads. Alongside me as Executive Headteacher, they are:
- Mrs Julia Simmonds, Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for Inclusion and SEND across both schools
- Mrs Sarah Dabill, Deputy Headteacher at Appleshaw St Peter’s
- Mrs Vickie Alvis, Deputy Headteacher at Kimpton, Thruxton & Fyfield
- Mrs Julie Peach, Pastoral Support Worker
Our main roles are to take the lead in ensuring that appropriate arrangements for keeping children and young people safe are in place at the Skylark Federation and promote the safety and welfare of children and young people involved in the Skylark Federation’s activities at all times.
If you have a safeguarding concern, please contact the school office to speak to one of the staff members listed above as soon as possible.
The first tier of our approach to safeguarding relates to our daily work in developing confidence in all our students to recognise risk, take responsibility for their actions and seek advice when they need to. Our curriculum supports this aim (for example our Relationships Education Curriculum and our Computing Curriculum), as does our approach to play, where we enable children to manage risk within a safe and supported environment. We also engage with external agencies such as the NSPCC to encourage open conversations around safeguarding.
The first tier also includes work on children’s mental health and well being, including using the Stormbreak programme to educate children about Resilience, Relationships, Self-care, Self-worth and Hope & Optimism.
Our second tier includes more school-led bespoke work for individuals and groups who have a particular need identified. Both schools have an experienced Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) who works under the direction of the Assistant Headteacher to help support the early intervention work with regard to our students’ social and emotional development.
Sometimes we neither have the capacity or expertise to intervene. When this is the case our staff can work with you to direct you to other services, agencies and charities who might be able to support. This might include your GP or mental health services such as CAMHS.
Occasionally, families need more formal support from more than one agency. We work with Wiltshire and Hampshire Children's Services, through their respective Early Help processes when a safeguarding need has been identified and a formal plan, drawing in other agencies might be needed. Very occasionally, when significant concerns have been identified, we work with other professionals such as the Police, the NHS and housing for example, to develop Child Protection Plans, which aim to protect children who are at risk from significant harm.
If you are struggling and need some help, please do speak to us. If we can’t help directly, we can direct you to someone who can. We all need help sometimes.